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(Thursday, February 27th)
Final Score: (7) Louisville 88, Temple 66
Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Russ Smith had 24 points, Montrezl Harrell scored 21 and No. 7 Louisville beat Temple 88-66 on Thursday for its seventh straight win.
Terry Rozier added 19 points for the Cardinals (24-4, 13-2 American), who tied idle Cincinnati for the conference lead.
They were coming off Saturday's thrilling 58-57 win over Cincinnati on Smith's jumper with 2.2 seconds remaining.
"We won tonight's game with offense," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "I wish we would have played better defense but we won the game with offense."
Will Cummings scored 18 points and Quenton DeCosey had 17 to lead Temple (7-20, 2-13), which has dropped seven of its last eight to reach 20 losses for the first time in the program's 118-season history.
"DeCosey shot 7-for-18 and 1-for-7 from 3s," Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said. "We need him to make three or four with seven attempts to make us competitive."
The Owls played their fifth straight game against a ranked team for the first time ever, including two against the reigning national champion Cardinals.
The Cardinals trailed 2-0, then scored the next 13 points and never looked back. Smith scored the first six points and nine overall during the run.
The lead reached 18 just 7:07 into the game on Rozier's jumper and was 42-29 at halftime behind 13 points from Smith and 10 each from Harrell and Rozier.
The Cardinals shot 56.7 percent in the first half and 53.3 percent in the game. Their lead was never in single digits in the second half and ballooned as high as 29.
Louisville has three games left in the regular season starting at Memphis on Saturday ... Temple plays Houston on Saturday to start its final three-game stretch ... Temple played four ranked teams in a row in 1995-96 ... Louisville beat Temple 82-58 on the road on Feb 14.
02/28 00:27:45 ET
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